Muskegon River
Fishing Report June 2014

Michigan Fly Fishing & Light Tackle Guided Fishing Trips on the Muskegon River for Salmon, Steelhead, and Trout.



 Muskegon River / Near Newaygo Michigan

 Below Croton Dam


This report is from Jon's Guide service a Michigan based fly fishing guide service located in South Boardman Michigan and having remote locations in Baldwin Michigan and Newaygo Michigan, providing guided fly fishing and instruction on Michigan's Muskegon river. Fly Fishing reports for Salmon, Steelhead, Trout & smallmouth bass.

Year round fly fishing on the Muskegon River.

Guided Fly Fishing on the Muskegon River.

Muskegon River Fishing Report 

Muskegon River Fishing  

 (Croton Dam-Newaygo Michigan)   Tail Water    


Guided fishing on the Muskegon River

The Muskegon River (Croton Dam-Newaygo Michigan) Tail Water

Fishing Report & Water Conditions Muskegon River:

The 2014 season is fishing well, but we are still behind! Cooler night time lows, rain, and a couple days in the 60’s has again dropped water temp and feed our fish well. The Hex hatch this year will fall well into July, and for some water such as the Rapid river Hex’s will be around into August.

Currently we are seeing good to great Iso hatches along with a few nights of scattered Brown Drakes. Stone flies have been in good numbers around the water, and have produced some great day time results. Larger Golden and Brown stones mixed with Yellow Sally’s and some smaller Olive Stones. Cahill’s, Mahoganies, Grey Drakes, and Sulphur’s round out the insect options. A few Hex Duns have been seen from back waters and are starting to hatch on a few of our local lakes in the area. I am looking at the last couple days of June to start seeing Hex’s, and look for the peak fishing in early July.

Day time fishing has been up and down and smaller rubber legged stones and Iso’s have been the answer. Terrestrial fishing has also started to produce with the use of Ant patterns, Beetles, and Damsels! Streamer fishing has still been productive in low light, overcast days, and has been best after local rains!

Night time fishing has been about the spinner fall. We have had some awesome nights with clouds of bugs, and others that only the fishing gods could explain why things were not in our favor. Mouse and Bat Fly fishing has started to produce, and has been pretty good on nights with little moon or light.

The local rivers in the area are starting to see more angler pressure in the evenings with the hopes of good Drake hatches and the Hex expected at the party anytime. Please remember you are not the only angler out there and you need to give space and respect to other anglers. I myself have been shocked at already seeing people walking in and posting for big bugs with no regard for private property and trash left behind. Expect a busy next couple weeks on streams in this area!

Fishing early in the morning has been pretty productive the past week. Mixed spinner falls and fish willing to chase streamers has been the end result. Fish seem to be looking up pretty good until around 9:00 am or a bit earlier on sunny days.  Fishing spinner patterns along structure and seams has been the ticket.

With everything being behind in 2014, and some of the arrangements that customers make a year in advance, we still have some fantastic dates open in July for Hex and night fishing.


Best time of year for trout

June marks the annual  Iso "Isonychia" (Slate Drakes on the Manistee river), the Hex "Hexaginia limbata" hatch (Pere Marquette River, Manistee River, and AuSable River), The Grey Drake  "Siphlonurus" Hatch, and great fishing with "Giant stone flies" (Pteronarcys California) on our Michigan waters. If you are interested in booking a prime date in advance for great dry fly trophy trout fishing in Michigan (open days limited) call or e-mail for more information.


*The Muskegon river offers fall steelhead opportunities not found on most rivers, the Muskegon offers vast numbers of fall steelhead compared to other rivers in the midwest. The Muskegon river is a tail water fishery, which means it does not freeze, and offers great opportunities for winter anglers! I might go as far as saying it offers the best fall / winter steelhead fishing in the United States. Swinging streamers, drifting egg patterns, and fishing light tackle is the trick to fishing this world series of steelhead fishing. Our best days of the fall for steelhead almost always are on this awesome fall steelhead fishery in later November and  December! 

Trout Fishing

Caddis flights and Gray Drake spinner falls on the Muskegon are some of the best in the Midwest! Fishing the caddis hatch starts with fishing emergers in the afternoon, and fishing spent patterns into darkness. Look for bigger trout to move below and into shallow riffles to take advantage of this great food source! Tan caddis and little green caddis are a staple of trout diets around Pine street access and other riffle in the upper river. The Gray Drake spinners swarms are something to see!


Hatch chart for Muskegon River     

Jon's Guide Service offers Spring steelhead fishing, summer trout fishing, late summer smallmouth fishing, salmon fishing, and fall steelhead fishing on the Muskegon River. Guided Fishing year-round fishing out of Newaygo Michigan located on the banks of the Muskegon River.




Ways to rig for Michigan Steelhead


Photo Gallery

Current River Flow data



Great Lakes Sturgeon landed & released on the Muskegon River

 Steehead Fishing Muskegon River





Muskegon River Guided Fly Fishing




Salmon / Trout / Steelhead / Smallmouth Bass




Muskegon River Fly Fishing & Guided Fly Fishing Services

The Muskegon River is a tributary to Lake Michigan.  It is well known for its tremendous runs of steelhead (one of the stongest in the Midwest) and salmon.  It is also recently famous for its population of resident brown trout and rainbow trout along with its prolific hatches of insects (mayflies, stones, and caddis) due to the re-licensing of Croton Dam, and the fact that it is a tail water fishery. 



The Muskegon flows out of Houghton Lake in Northern Michigan, located over 200 river miles away from the city of Muskegon, and Lake Michigan. The river harbors tremendous numbers of resident brown and rainbow trout coupled with prolific runs of steelhead and salmon.  The Muskegon is known as a  “bug factory” ever getting better with “run of the river ”, the new release schedule agreed upon by Consumers Power Company (CMS Energy) which is the operator of Croton Dam, and runs stream flows close to that of a natural dam free river.  The new program came about in July of 1994 and is responsible for managing more consistent flows which have stabilized the fishery.




Croton Dam (Newaygo area) to Newaygo is the most popular area on the river for fishing, but productive stretches of river for trout, salmon, steelhead and smallmouth bass run all the way to Lake Michigan. The river bottom consists of rock, gravel bars,sand, and aquatic grasses, and the biomass is high.  The best way to fish this big river is by boat.  This will enable you to get to the pools and runs inaccessible to wade fishing, and help to get away from fishing pressure.  Good access sites include Croton dam, Pine St.,  Thornapple Ave. and Henning County Park boat launches, with wadable water locted by each and all of these access sites.




With tremendous runs of steelhead and salmon along with its great population of trout and good hatches of insects, this fishery has become one of the best in the Midwest and a favorite to "Michigan Fly Fishing anglers". Only its neighbors, the Pere Marquette, AuSable and the Manistee, have equal diversity.




Hatches on the Muskegon include a variety of mayflies, stoneflies, and caddis. Some of the Muskegon’s mayflies include Gray Drakes, Blue-winged Olives, Isonycias, and sulphurs, many caddis species and sizes.  Little blacks are the predominant species of stoneflies and hatch strong in the late spring.



Although the access and wade fishing is good on this river, the use of a guide will always provide a safe, exciting educational experience, and put you on the best fishing the river has to offer at that time of year.

Jon's Guide Service offers guided fly fishing and instruction on Michigan's Muskegon River






Muskegon River Map 






Muskegon River Map - Dave Dejonge










Muskegon River Fly Fishing Guide Services:


Guided fly fishing and instruction on Michigan's Muskegon River


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